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Excellent progress at Gatwick immigration centre say inspectors

Independent inspectors have today released their latest assessment of a G4S-managed immigration removal centre in the southeast of England reporting that the facility has made “excellent progress”.
UK Care and Justice Services - prisons

Brook House, near Gatwick Airport, achieved the second highest rating across all four key measures of safety, respect, activities and preparation for removal and release during the unannounced inspection in November 2016 by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP).  The 448-capacity centre for adult men detained under immigration laws opened in March 2009 and has “continued to improve” since its most recent review by inspectors in May 2013. 

The report praised staff for developing strong relationships with detainees and highlighted three areas of good practice, which officials say could be followed by similar facilities, including “sophisticated” analysis of data to tackle violence and bullying which lead to tangible actions and outcomes.

Director of Brook House immigration removal centre, Ben Saunders, said:

“This is an encouraging report which acknowledges our team’s efforts to continuously improve the support for people we look after.  The centre has developed well and it is heartening to see approaches initiated at Brook House, such as using sophisticated data-driven insights to strengthen safety and tackle discrimination, recognised as good practice that should be followed at other similar centres.  

“Inspectors rightly identify that the purpose-built design is stark in some places and work is already underway to address that, including improving the screening in bathroom areas.  We will work closely with the Home Office, who own the buildings, to look at how we can further soften the environment, for example by making greater use of the art created by detainees, especially where it has achieved recognition from arts charities like the Koestler Trust.  

“The next phase of our development will see the centre expand by 60 places and we are recruiting new colleagues and developing additional activities for detainees so that we can maintain and build on the improvements reported today.  While the days before deportation can be a distressing time for detainees, we continue to remain focused on ensuring that people are well cared for before they leave us and that the process of departure is well managed.”

Notes to editors:

You can read the full report on Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Prisons website